Quality of Life Comparison

COMPARED TO

If you lived in South Africa instead of Iraq, you would:

Health

live 7.8 years less


In Iraq, the average life expectancy is 73 years (71 years for men, 75 years for women) as of 2020. In South Africa, that number is 65 years (63 years for men, 66 years for women) as of 2020.

Economy

be 27.8% less likely to be live below the poverty line


In Iraq, 23.0% live below the poverty line as of 2014. In South Africa, however, that number is 16.6% as of 2016.

make 18.6% less money


Iraq has a GDP per capita of $16,700 as of 2017, while in South Africa, the GDP per capita is $13,600 as of 2017.

be 71.9% more likely to be unemployed


In Iraq, 16.0% of adults are unemployed as of 2012. In South Africa, that number is 27.5% as of 2017.

pay a 3.0 times higher top tax rate


Iraq has a top tax rate of 15.0% as of 2016. In South Africa, the top tax rate is 45.0% as of 2017.

Life

be 73.7% more likely to be literate


In Iraq, the literacy rate is 50.1% as of 2018. In South Africa, it is 87.0% as of 2017.

be 50.6% more likely to die during childbirth


In Iraq, approximately 79.0 women per 100,000 births die during labor as of 2017. In South Africa, 119.0 women do as of 2017.

be 42.6% more likely to die during infancy


In Iraq, approximately 19.5 children die before they reach the age of one as of 2020. In South Africa, on the other hand, 27.8 children do as of 2020.

have 25.3% fewer children


In Iraq, there are approximately 25.7 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020. In South Africa, there are 19.2 babies per 1,000 people as of 2020.

Basic Needs

be 13.8% more likely to have internet access


In Iraq, approximately 49.4% of the population has internet access as of 2018. In South Africa, about 56.2% do as of 2018.

be 15.8% less likely to have access to electricity


In Iraq, approximately 100% of the population has electricity access as of 2016. In South Africa, 84% of the population do as of 2017.

Geography

see 48.2 times more coastline


Iraq has a total of 58 km of coastline. In South Africa, that number is 2,798 km.

South Africa: At a glance

South Africa (sometimes abbreviated RSA) is a sovereign country in Africa, with a total land area of approximately 1,214,470 sq km. Dutch traders landed at the southern tip of modern day South Africa in 1652 and established a stopover point on the spice route between the Netherlands and the Far East, founding the city of Cape Town. After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted British encroachments but were defeated in the Second Anglo Boer War (1899-1902); however, the British and the Afrikaners, as the Boers became known, ruled together beginning in 1910 under the Union of South Africa, which became a republic in 1961 after a whites-only referendum. In 1948, the National Party was voted into power and instituted a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races - which favored the white minority at the expense of the black majority. The African National Congress (ANC) led the opposition to apartheid and many top ANC leaders, such as Nelson MANDELA, spent decades in South Africa's prisons. Internal protests and insurgency, as well as boycotts by some Western nations and institutions, led to the regime's eventual willingness to negotiate a peaceful transition to majority rule. The first multi-racial elections in 1994 brought an end to apartheid and ushered in majority rule under an ANC-led government. South Africa since then has struggled to address apartheid-era imbalances in decent housing, education, and health care. ANC infighting, which has grown in recent years, came to a head in September 2008 when President Thabo MBEKI resigned, and Kgalema MOTLANTHE, the party's General-Secretary, succeeded him as interim president. Jacob ZUMA became president after the ANC won general elections in April 2009. National presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 2014.

How big is South Africa compared to Iraq? See an in-depth size comparison.


The statistics on this page were calculated using the following data sources: The World Factbook, Ministry of Finance, South African Revenue Service.

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